Kathleen Wynne rallies support for Windsor West's Piruzza

A local political analyst believes Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne isn't taking Windsor West for granted.
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne is scheduled to meet with Teresa Piruzza and other Liberals at Piruzza's headquarters on Howard Avenue at 6:15 p.m. (David Donnelly/CBC)

A local political analyst believes Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne isn't taking Windsor West for granted.

Teresa Piruzza is the Liberal incumbent in the riding. Wynne is in town to rally around her candidate.

Tuesday evening, Wynne spoke at Piruzza's campaign headquarters.

"We know Windsor is the heart of the auto sector ... When we knew the auto sector was tanking we knew government needed to be there to step up. We stepped up," said Wynne.

Wynne also referenced past political leaders like Herb Gray, Dwight Duncan and Sandra Pupatello in her address.

"She knows this is a competition down here. It's not a given,"said Cheryl Collier, a political science professor at the University of Windsor. "It makes sense for her to make a visit here. If she wasn't visiting at all, I'd be concerned.

"But I think she sees some potential in actually showing up and putting some support behind Teresa Piruzza."

Wednesday, Wynne will be at Omega Tool Corp. in Windsor at 8 a.m.

"While she recognizes the importance of Piruzza, I think she recognizes this isn't just something she can leave to her own devices. She needs to show support and help her be successful," said Collier.

Wynne is the second of the three major party leaders to campaign in Windsor. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath was here when the campaign began.

Lisa Gretzky, the NDP candidate for Windsor West, suggests Wynne's visit has more to do with damage control than support.

"We're hearing a lot of traditional hardcore liberal supporters who are now going to support the NDP and I'm sure that's made it back to the Liberal party," she said.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has yet to come to Windsor.

PC candidate for Windsor West, Henry Lau, says he isn't fazed. "Mr. Hudak is very busy with his schedule," he said. "We can invite him any time we want to. He is always supporting Windsor. In fact, our Ontario PC policy has an advanced manufacturing white paper which specifically makes Windsor a very important place in the next PC government."

"They've never been really strong contenders in the past couple of elections," Collier said of the PCs. "Parties don't have a lot of money so they really have to funnel their attention and resources [in ridings] that they know will get the most bang for their buck. I don't see that as being in this area."